The leftist curator of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Nancy Spector, responded to the Presidential Family’s request to loan out the van Gogh "Landscape With Snow" by suggesting another piece she said might better fit President’s Trump’s tastes: a golden toilet, the finest of the porcelain thrones.
For those unfamiliar with presidential art-borrowing practices, requests such as this are apparently fairly common. As The Washington Post recalls, "The Smithsonian loaned the Kennedys a Eugène Delacroix painting, 'The Smoker.' The Obamas preferred abstract art, choosing works by Mark Rothko and Jasper Johns."
The curator denied the request for the post-impressionist painting that depicts a man in a black hat walking on a trail in Arles, France, with his dog. Instead, she suggested loaning the president an 18-Karat gold, functioning toilet that was once displayed — and available for use — in one of the Guggenheims' public restrooms.
The artist "would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan," Spector said in her offer via email.
Message received, Mrs. Spector.
This is an obvious dig at the president’s alleged "sh**hole" comment as well as his famous affinity for all-gold everything. If you’ve ever walked into the lobby of a Trump hotel, you get the gold reference. Just check out this picture of Trump’s penthouse in Trump Tower.
Just how deep does the president’s affinity for this precious metal run? In 2015, Celina Durgin broke down Trump’s most interesting gold-accented possessions. Here are just a few:
Trump 24K Super Premium Vodka:
Well, maybe The Donald never downed one of these himself (he doesn’t drink), but he ensured that his line of luxury vodka bore the Trump brand. Advertised under the slogan “success distilled,” each $100 bottle is labeled with a 24-karat gold ’T.’
Custom Gold Motorcycle:
Keeping with the 24-karat theme, Paul Teutal Sr. of the Discovery Channel’s American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior designed Trump a chopper – branded with Trump’s name, of course – featuring 24-karat gold detailing and custom parts.
Trump owns another kind of gold chopper. He upgraded one helicopter in his fleet to a top-grade Sikorsky S-76 helicopter, estimated at $7 million. The upgrade likely cost around $750,000. Obligatory gold items include seatbelt buckles, handles, and the family crests emblazoned inside.
At one point, Trump even reportedly accepted gold bullion as rent from his tenants.
All of this makes Spector’s dig quite comical, but that is only half the story. The real motive behind denying the request in this manner: to stand in solidarity with the #Resistance against Trump’s politics. In the wake of Trump’s election, she declared on Instagram, "This must be the first day of our revolution to take back our beloved country from hatred, racism, and intolerance."
The dig loses a little luster in light of her cliched #Resistance stance. Further soiling the insult is the name of the former exhibit: "America."
"America," by Maurizio Cattelan, was displayed for a year in a restroom on the fifth floor for visitor’s use. It was estimated to be used more than 100,000 times.
As the name of the exhibit reveals, the Left's disdain for America is what's truly driving Spector's stunt. Dumping on America has been popularized by socialist countries with large social safety nets mired in anti-democratic bureaucracies that stifle the rights of the individual to pursue political and economic ends — and the Democrats that wish the United States would follow suit. This isn’t just about hatred for Trump, it’s hatred for America.
Like most modern artists, Cattelan had nothing profound to say about Spector’s offer, which doesn’t come as a surprise because his million-dollar work’s focal points are rather foolish. Another one of his sculptures: Pope John Paul II lying on the ground after being hit by a meteorite. Another: a child-size sculpture of an adult Adolf Hitler, kneeling. Cattelan said over the phone to The Washington Post, "It’s a very delicate subject. … What’s the point of our life? Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense. … I don’t want to be rude. I have to go."
Correction: This article previously described Spector as the curator of the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. She is the curator of the Guggenheim in New York.